door knocking a pre-foreclosure - Posted by Helene

Posted by Tim on July 29, 2007 at 21:46:41:

Wyandotte County, Kansas

door knocking a pre-foreclosure - Posted by Helene

Posted by Helene on July 29, 2007 at 12:32:42:

I’ve never had a problem knocking on doors when I was selling and canvasing neighborhoods for listings. Fast forward two years and am in the process of learning to do short sales.
I have a list in front of me and to my thinking, the easiest thing would be to just go ring the door bell and see what’s up with the owner, see if I can help.

Somehow, I don’t think the reception would be good.

Any thoughts or suggestions.

They can’t shoot me!

Re: door knocking a pre-foreclosure - Posted by Natalie-VA

Posted by Natalie-VA on July 30, 2007 at 16:17:49:


I think it depends on your market and how many other people are door knocking. I door-knocked in the past and got some really good deals, but I will admit that people in foreclosure have a lot of extra baggage. It can be draining having to deal with them and their issues.

Another thing to think about is that the media has portrayed door-knockers to be scammers. There are people out there ripping sellers off and it makes us all look bad. I choose not to go door-to-door anymore. I just don’t want to be associated with some of the people that do it.

Take this for what it’s worth, because even when I was door-knocking, I really hated it. I made decent money, but hated the process.


Re: door knocking a pre-foreclosure - Posted by lukeNC

Posted by lukeNC on July 29, 2007 at 13:09:19:

i used to do alot of door knocking on big equity pre-foreclosures – waste of time and gas money for me.

They were either vacant or didnt want to talk with me.

I changed up my strategy to focusing solely on the vacant pre-foreclosure. I found that those people who had left the home already were much more receptive to my offers to help. Plus, the emotional attachment to the house was gone. I was and still am very good at skip tracing and locating hard to find folks.

You should consider that strategy.

Re: door knocking a pre-foreclosure - Posted by Todd (AZ)

Posted by Todd (AZ) on July 29, 2007 at 12:42:01:


Actually they “could” shoot you, but not very likely. LOL!!!

The reception typically is not as bad as you think, depending on your
approach. They are expecting bill collectors, etc., generally people
harrassing them after money. Just apologize for bothering them, and
explain that you are an investor and interested in helping them solve
their problem.

You will likely get suspicion, and perhaps the occasional embarrassed
angry homeowner who doesn’t understand how you got his information
and doesn’t know it’s public knowledge. But once you explain, they
relax a bit.

If they don’t, then just politely leave, and leave your card in case they
want to call you.

Once they know you are there to help make their problem go away, and
that they may get something out of it, they usually aren’t so bad to
deal with … “usually”.


Re: door knocking a pre-foreclosure - Posted by Ron M

Posted by Ron M on July 29, 2007 at 13:31:27:

I have been out of the game for a while. Can you briefly give me a synopsis of your systme and whether or not it can be automated. I have knocked on a lot of doors with similar results. What type of results have you gottn with your technique. If you aren’t knocking on doors, how do you know if the house is vacant?

Thanks for the feedback.

Ron M (Wa)

Ditto!!! - Posted by Todd (AZ)

Posted by Todd (AZ) on July 29, 2007 at 13:21:30:

Yes, I’ve had very results with both, if you approach the homeowners
respectfully, they can often be very cooperative. But there is more of
attachment. I wouldn’t discount them at all.

As you say Luke, when they are vacant, and you have to track down the
homeowner … YIPPEE!!! … I know they are going to be extremely
motivated to unload the house since they have walked away from it.

They don’t want it and they don’t care anymore. Deal done.


Where do I get the public information? - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on July 29, 2007 at 20:38:42:

I’ve asked around to get the specific information for my area, but it seems that investors aren’t eager to invite new competition. Let me ask in a more general terms.

“the occasional embarrassed
angry homeowner who doesn’t understand how you got his information
and doesn’t know it’s public knowledge”

Where would one go to get the “public knowledge”? I’ve gone to the courthouse in one county, waited in line at the county appraiser’s desk, and was told that this information was not going to be made available to solicitors. I wasn’t sure what to ask, so I left.

I’m planning to take a day off of work this week to visit the county courthouse of the county I want to invest in (different county than the one referred to above). I have a very specific target area, and I have a expertise in this area because I used to live there, and I’ve owned rental properties in my area for several years.

Which office might I visit to access information such as addresses, owner’s name and address, tax status, mortgage information including loan amount, payment status, and basically any other information I can query by address?

As always, thank you in advance for your helpful insight. Your advice is appreciated!

Re: door knocking a pre-foreclosure - Posted by Todd (AZ)

Posted by Todd (AZ) on July 29, 2007 at 13:56:38:

Hi Ron,

I don’t know that I would call it a “system” per se, I am just referring to
talking to them. As JT noted below, most people are in denial, and will
tell you they have the problem taken care of, in which case just
appreciate that they may have it taken care of and ask them to take
your card and if anything changes, to please give you a call. Just talk
to them respectfully, they have been beaten up enough by collectors
and the like, and are angry and embarrassed.

Many don’t want to sell, and want to pretend the problem will just go
away. Thus, leave your card for when they realize it won’t. I have had
people who I approached early on in the process, and they end up
calling me the day before the sale begging me to buy the house.

Ask to discuss with them what they want to do, many want to keep the
house, or want to rent it back from you. I don’t prefer that myself, as
they didn’t pay the lender, they likely won’t pay you. But some people
like this option and some use it as a way to get the house with the
promise of renting or l/o it back, then kick the owner out when they
don’t pay. This can have some backlash on you if they pursue legal

As far as being vacant, one, you can knock on the door, but that
doesn’t tell you it’s vacant or not. Often you will notice it’s vacant, like
most other houses. Overgrown yard, if the blinds or curtains are gone
you can see the house is empty inside (often from the street). Is there
a lack of personal items? Like garden hoses, lawn chairs, potted
plants, etc. If these are still there, likely someone “may” still be there.
If the owners vacated and left these types of items, the neighbors will
usually take them. Utility meters, sometimes you can see if the electric
meter has been pulled, or the gas meter if it’s been vacant a very long

I would guesstimate, that with homeowners still living in the house,
and if they are not currently talking to someone else about their house,
probably better than half of them end up working with me. On ones
that are vacant and I locate the owners … nearly 100% of them will just
give you the house for loan balance.

The results are much better on the vacant foreclosures.

Does this help?


Re: door knocking a pre-foreclosure - Posted by lukeNC

Posted by lukeNC on July 29, 2007 at 13:55:48:

i just had everything done on excel. Basically a property spreadsheet.

We had hundreds and hundreds of pre-foreclosures in our metro area.

In the very beginning of the foreclosure process I’d drive by the ones nearest to me to check on the status. If it was not vacant i just notated that, if it was, etc…

I also sent post cards to the rest of them, the ones that came back as undeliverable or with a forwarding address – which were alot – I then tried to locate a phone number.

As the sale dates got nearer, many times the homeowners would bail and leave the house. I can’t tell you how many times I’d drive up to a house where they were packing up to leave. Great deals to be had…

Re: Where do I get the public information? - Posted by Todd (AZ)

Posted by Todd (AZ) on July 30, 2007 at 13:32:22:

They can go by various names as IB pointed out, depending on your area. Commonly they will be referred to something as the County Recorder’s office for recordings of deeds, liens, etc., and the Tax Assessor’s office for tax related info.

You are in Kansas, which is a Mortgage state I believe, so it may be called something like what IB pointed out. Regardless, the Recorder’s office is where you can look up transactions that a person has done, filings of Notice of Trustee’s sale, Notice of Default, etc. which all refer to a foreclosure, and any liens and other information relating to the person’s property.

The Tax Assessor’s, will give you tax info, current owner’s name, address, and some property info.

Neither office will be able to tell you anything about payment status (other than foreclosure for non-payment) or any other personal information about the person’s situation. That is information the lender will have and cannot disclose to you without the borrower’s written permission.

Tax information, recordings of liens and mortgages on property, transfers of ownership, are all public information, so you should have access to it in your area.

Hope this helps.


Re: Where do I get the public information? - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on July 29, 2007 at 21:28:38:

What state and county are you located? The answer you receive will depend on your location.

Where I am (Essex county, NJ) you go to the room labeled ‘Deeds and Mortgages’ to check out liens.For an updated tax status you would visit the municipality’s tax collector’s office.